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Insecurity: A Major Minus To Good Governance In Nigeria

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Insecurity: A Major Minus To Good Governance In Nigeria

By

Raymond Oise-Oghaede

It is sad, painful and very unfortunate that we are still where we are as it pertains to the issue of insecurity ravaging the nook and cranny of our polity despite the concerns that were raised in the past to averting this calamitous situation. Though, our leaders have always been assuring us that they are on top of the situation; but, as it is, it appears that they are ‘very far’ from finding lasting solutions to the menace. In as much as this review is not meant to join in the blame trading that is now trending,  it will however, reflect on the nitty gritty of the problem  and ‘call a spade a spade’ in line with the guiding principle of the writer. Therefore, it will not be far from the truth to say that our leaders have not been united in the fight against insecurity; because, to a very large extent, most of them are currently enmeshed in underground horse trading (political maneuvering) preparatory to 2023 and beyond. So, instead of coming together to seeing the menace as a NATIONAL PROBLEM, they see it as a BUHARI’s PROBLEM or APC’s PROBLEM. As a result, the matter is not being tackled head-on as expected; because, the prevalence of mutual suspicion has divided them along the lines of political, religious and ethnic jingoism.

 

Presently, the issue has been ethnicized by some people; and, this has led to the ‘banishment’ of the ‘suspected culprits’ (the Fulani herdsmen) from different parts of the country. This dangerous dimension is gradually degenerating to ‘ethnic clashes and reprisal attacks’ which are capable of snowballing into full-blown civil disturbances. I saw the handwriting on the wall years back and I delved extensively on the subject matter in some of my numerous articles i.e.  “HERDSMEN AND THE STATE OF THE NATION” (published February, 2018); “FROM CHIBOK TO DAPCHI: LET’S STOP THE TREND” (March, 2018); “POLITICS OF INSECURITY IN OUR NATION” (July, 2018); “AT 58, OUR DEMOCRACY MUST BE SUSTAINED” (October, 2018); “THE REAL ENEMIES OF OUR NATION” (May, 2019); “INSECURITY AND THE PRESIDENTIAL IMPRECATION OF NECESSITY” (June, 2019); “MUTUAL SUSPICION AND WORSENING SECURITY SITUATION” (July, 2019); “THE POLITICS OF HAILERS, HATERS AND WAILERS” (July, 2019); “NIGERIA AT 59: SO FAR, SO…? (October, 2019}; and, “NIGERIA AT 60: LET’S END POLITICS OF MISTRUST” (October, 2020). Dishearteningly, nothing has changed because of the insincerity of those at the corridors of power who are very quick to politicizing advice (especially when such is not coated with honey and hypocritical praise-singing). Little wonder why similar warnings of prominent leaders and statesmen on the imminent dangers inherent in the growing state of insecurity in the country were trivialized and tagged as the “wailing of shakabula generals”.

 

Taking a closer look at the situation, it is obvious that the problem is multifaceted. Some people are indulging in these crimes to ‘make ends meet’ because of the rising rate of employment and the stifling economic situation; some are involved as a result of ‘conflict of interests amongst different groups’ (which is the root cause of the persisting herders/farmers clashes); while, some others are carrying out these criminalities ‘to cause disaffections amongst the people and destabilize the government’. So, whether it is pleasant to hear or not, the fact remains that as many Nigerians (across all ethnic, political, social and religious divides) are weeping and wailing as a result of their losses (loved ones and valuable properties), some are also laughing all the way to the bank with the proceeds from these nefarious activities (either as direct perpetrators, accomplices or beneficiaries of the precarious situation) and some others are boosting their electoral chances as a result of the unpleasant state of the nation. Thus, if we continue to tackle it sentimentally from ‘narrow angles’, we can only fail woefully or at best, achieve minimal success; while, the menace will continue to devastate the polity and make it almost impossible for the government to thrive. However, if we tackle it from ‘broader perspectives’ (as I have identified and proffered in my earlier referenced articles), then, we will definitely achieve excellent results.

 

Expectedly, our leaders and the citizenry are now disunited in the fight against ‘the monster’. Most people have been made to embrace the ‘general belief that the Fulanis are the major culprits’ of the heinous crimes across the length and breadth of the country due to the fact that they mostly traverse in the forests which have been identified as the ‘hideouts and operational bases’ of the ‘criminals’. So, whenever any crime occurs in that terrain, the Fulani herdsmen readily come to mind. At this point, the questions that require prompt responses should be as follows; “How many of ‘these Fulanis’ have been apprehended so far?”; Do we have credible evidence(s) to substantiate their culpability in the numerous incidents?”; If so, “How many of them have been apprehended and are currently in police custody?”; and, “what is delaying their arraignment, prosecution and conviction to date”? The honest answers to these questions are very germane and would go a very long way to helping us to unraveling/confirming the identities of the criminals and finding lasting solutions to the problem. It is only then that we can know and be sure whether they are truly ‘Fulani herdsmen’; or ‘Yoruba ritualists’; or ‘Igbo kidnappers’; or ‘Edo robbers’; and, or ‘whoever they are’.

 

Interestingly, I have posited in the past that the ‘agents of destabilization and enemies of our nation’ are very smart/strategic and they are capable of employing numerous tactics in carrying out their nefarious activities.  They sow seeds of hatred amongst the citizenry to cause disunity and restlessness in the polity. In this situation, the people will lack the needed unity and impetus to jointly tackle the problem squarely. These  unscrupulous elements have the capacity to perpetrate crimes and make them look as if they were carried out by any of the ‘ethnic nationalities’. In order to carry out and consolidate their destabilization agenda, they can attack the herders and rustle their cows in the morning, and come back in the night to destroy farm settlements in the same area to make it look like reprisal attacks by the former. They can set churches on fire in the morning, and return in the dead of the night to destroy mosques to balance the equation. They can destroy Igbo businesses in the morning and return in the night or few days after to do the same to Yoruba or Hausa businesses to cause confusion in furtherance of their set objective(s). From the few scenarios painted; you can now see that, it is very easy for the ‘enemies of our nation’ to cause disaffection amongst the citizenry. Presently, the Fulani herdsmen have been successfully painted as the ‘major criminals’; while, the ‘real criminals’ are walking freely amongst us.

READ ALSO: NAFDAC Approved AstraZeneca To Fight COVID-19

Unfortunately, ‘the hopelessness of the situation and the people’s survival instincts have driven some individuals and groups into embarking on self-help to defend themselves and their people’. In as much as these moves would not have posed any problem in an unambiguous situations where the real perpetrators are identifiable and known, it becomes problematic where such actions are hinged on ‘mere suspicions’ and ‘hearsays’. Therefore, there is the need to take a ‘lot of precautions’ so that ‘innocent people’ would not be made to suffer; otherwise, the law will catch up with whoever is adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to have infringed on other ‘innocent and law- abiding people’s rights’. So, we should all have it at the back of our minds that, ‘no matter how defective or unfriendly that the present constitution is said to be; its provisions are still sacrosanct and binding on everyone under its purview until when it is repealed and replaced’. Also, in the case of conflicts with other laws/statutes in the country, the constitution remains supreme. Thus, we must be guided accordingly in order not to become victims of avoidable and unfortunate circumstances where ‘our today’s heroes’ would end up as ‘tomorrow’s culprits’.  We should ensure that our actions do not send ‘wrong signals’ that could lead to ‘reprisal attacks’ on innocent and law-abiding nationalities from or in other regions. We are all in it together; and, we should be prepared to come together to tackle the problems together without parochial and myopic sentiments. Our focus should be on the flushing out of criminal elements from our polity (within the ambit of the law) regardless of their ethnic, political, religious and social affiliations.

So, if we truly wish to curtail the dangerous trend of insecurity in our nation, all hands must be on deck to supporting the government to achieve the feat.  We all know that it is the cardinal responsibility of the government to protect the lives and properties of its citizenry and other people within its territory. But the co-operation  of the people is required to achieving this feat. However, our case is very complicated because of the complicity of the people in the matter. For example, the security agencies need vital information from the people so that criminal activities can be nipped in the bud. But, in our today’s society, the  reverse is the case because, some people would rather give criminals information to successfully carry out their activities and avert the long arms of the law, than to give information that will expose them (criminals) to the police and other agents of government. In the same vein, rather than join hands with the government to finding solutions to the menace, the majority of our leaders across the political divide (depending on their political calculations/permutations) would prefer the lingering of the menace to make the government unpopular in the eyes of the electorate/citizenry and the international community. It would be recalled that the present administration also capitalized on the unpleasant security situation under the last regime to gain   support at the 2015 polls. This politics of tit for tat is very dangerous and undesirable in any progressive society; because, the electorate/citizens will always be the ‘ultimate losers’.

 

Consequent upon the aforementioned, you will agree with me that even if we continue to change our service chiefs on a monthly basis (with due respect to the suitableness/capableness of the past and newly appointed service chiefs), it will not solve the problems with the kind of ‘mindsets and attitudes of our people’. Thus, I wish to enjoin the people to jettison their old ways and join hands with other well-meaning people to finding lasting solutions to the problem of insecurity in our country for the benefit of all and sundry.

 

Our security agencies should be reorganized to make them more people-friendly. Bad eggs and negative influencers should be flushed out and others, re-orientated, adequately trained, fully equipped and bountifully remunerated. By so doing, the level of professionalism will be very high and people/citizenry would be comfortably disposed to giving them necessary information required to assisting them in carrying out their functions comprehensively. Today, many people are of the opinion that it is ‘unwise and unsafe’ to ‘say something when they see something’ and that is why criminal activities are flourishing in our society.

 

The proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country is also a contributory factor to insecurity. Therefore, the Joint Task Forces on border patrol must ensure that illegal immigrants and contrabands (especially weapons) are not allowed into the country. If our borders are secured (not closed), the influx of arms and ammunition will be a thing of the past. Today, it is commonly alleged that the criminals are usually armed with sophisticated weapons (which are not produced in the country), so, they were imported or smuggled into the country. Therefore, the agencies in charge of the borders and the Ministry of Interior have an ‘uphill task’ to handle. Also, if detailed investigations are carried out on weapons recovered from such criminals, the manufacturers and the eventual importers could be traced and made to explain how they got into the country and to wrong hands.

READ ALSO: Dealing With Procrastination

Also, the traditional rulers should be upright in the discharge of their functions as the ‘custodians of cultural values and true royal fathers to the people within their respective domains’. They should always operate an open door rulership whereby the locals/villagers/natives/settlers can feel free to give information in confidence without fear of repercussion(s). Otherwise, how is it possible (as an example) for ‘rustlers’ to successfully attack the herders (injuring and killing some in the process) ‘steal’ their cattle and disappear into thin air without the villagers/natives having an inkling of the crime? So, it is either, they are partners in crime; or, they opted to keep silent because of the fear of the ‘consequences of talking’. This explains how the herders graduated from ‘using sticks’ to ‘carrying guns’. However, that should not be a justification for using the weapons to committing crimes and that is why whoever is found guilty must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

 

Furthermore, the ‘real herders’ should also make it a point of responsibility to report and expose the criminal elements within their settlements carrying out kidnapping, murder, raping, wanton destruction of lives and properties to their leaders, rulers/elders of their host communities, and or the security agencies so that there would not be cases of ‘wrong accusation(s)’ which would make them become ‘victims of unfortunate circumstances’ as we have it today. In the same vein, the natives should also endeavor to say something when they see something rather than keeping quiet and allowing mutual suspicion degenerate to situations where ‘innocent people are made to pay for the crimes of others’.

 

Instructively, members of the National Assembly and State Assemblies should collapse all their ‘so-called juicy committees’ into the National and States Security Committees (respectively) to thoroughly and objectively deliberate on issues of insecurity bedeviling us, with the aim of unearthing/resolving the root causes such as the herders/farmers conflicts; high rate of employment; moral decadence amongst our youths which has greatly worsened criminalities and other societal ills; rising cases of cult clashes; issues of marginalization that has increased regional upheavals and quests for secession; the alleged Fulanization/Islamization agenda; police brutality; and, social imbalances that have, to a very large extent, hindered the  discharging of dividends of democracy to the people. My article on “THE 9TH ASSEMBLY AND OUR DEMOCRACY” (published in June 2019) is still very much relevant and crucial in this regard. This Security Committee should constantly liaise and follow up with the service chiefs on evolving security challenges with a view to proffering workable solutions together.

 

Also, members of the ruling parties and the opposition (at every level of governance) should come together to work together for the benefit of our country and the people regardless of their political differences. If you truly have the interest of the people at heart, you will jettison politics of bitterness/mistrust and work together for the overall benefit of the people.

 

In the same vein, the Governors Forum should also see the security challenges of one state as that of all other states. So, they should always come together regardless of their political and ethnic/regional affiliations to fight the menace as one indivisible family. There is no state that does not have indigenes in every other part of the country. As such, the governors should see and treat people from other states as their own. Therefore,  you must find a way of joining hands together to helping one another. The situation of leaving state governors to ‘carry their individual crosses’ on security issues is very wrong and should be discouraged. As it is presently, the governors are just the ‘chief security officers’ of their states ‘on paper’; they do not have absolute control over any of the major security agencies within their states.

 

Flowing from the above, the inspector general of police, the comptroller generals of immigration, customs, Nigerian Correctional Services; the commandant general of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; the director general of the DSS and other related agencies should always endeavor to promptly send crucial and urgent signals/directives to their respective States commissioners/comptrollers/ommandants/directors on the appropriate actions to take during complex and emergency situations. The chairman of the Governors’ Forum should constantly liaise/follow up with the presidency/service chiefs/heads of other security agencies on serious security challenges affecting any of the states.

 

The Federal Government should also operate an open door system to encourage all well-meaning and patriotic citizens to contribute their quotas towards ensuring that the issue of insecurity is put to permanent rest. The government belongs to all Nigerians and should not be seen as that of a particular political party and a section of the country or selected  few. Our leaders should welcome contributions from every reasonable quarter, and treat those on security matters very seriously and objectively.

READ ALSO: The Need for National Resilience Policy and Standard

Furthermore, all aggrieved and disgruntled freedom fighters should tread softly and be guided by the law in the execution of their fight against insecurity. They should avoid infringing on the rights of innocent and law-abiding citizens in order not to end up being caught in the web of lawlessness. This is also necessary to prevent reprisal attacks that could degenerate to unnecessary civil disturbances/war. “A word is enough for the wise”.

 

Journalists and social media influencers should desist from sensational reporting which is capable of compounding the already tensed atmosphere. This is not the time to want to be ‘hypocritically active’ for the purpose of ‘personal aggrandizement’. You must be highly professional and cautious in your reporting and circulations to avoid ‘pouring petrol on fire’.

 

To all those that are directly or indirectly fanning the embers of destabilization in our nation, you are enjoined to have a rethink and discontinue forthwith because the judgment day is very near. If you are no longer comfortable and happy with the government, you need to wait for the right time to do the needful with your ‘votes’. That is the beauty of democracy as “the government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

 

Finally, I am calling on all well-meaning people to join hands together to save our country from ‘the pangs of insecurity that has deprived us of good governance over the years’.

 Oise-Oghaede writes from Suru-Lere, Lagos State, Nigeria. He can be reached via raymondoise@yahoo.com.

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We Did Our Best To Save Mailafia – Hospital

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We Did Our Best To Save Mailafia - Hospital

Worried about the allegation of complicity, the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) has said that it did its best to save the life of former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Dr Obadiah Mailafia.

The hospital said those accusing it of having a hand in the death of the foremost activist were not sincere.

The acting Public Relations Officer of UATH, Michael Atiga, speaking on Mallafia’s death and allegations that trailed it, wondered how the hospital could be blamed for being responsible when its medical personnel did everything necessary to revive him.

According to him, the exceptional performances of medical personnel in Mailafia’s case earned them verbal accolade from the wife of the deceased, who he noted, was around the husband.

He explained:”The patient came in on Saturday, September 18,2021, around 2pm to 3pm in the afternoon. He was well received because the doctors even had pre-information that he was coming, so he was well received.

“And considering the nature of his illness because from what I gathered from the doctor, as he was rushed to this place, his oxygen saturation was like 60 percent, so there was a problem already. He was in a bad condition so they had to commence treatment immediately.”

According to him, the doctors ”placed him on a free-flow oxygen in order to increase his oxygen saturation and they started this medication immediately without asking for any money.

“The saturation which was 60 percent at the time they came to this place, at a point, went to like 90 percent. So they continued the treatment till like 10 clock at night.

“Since they discovered that his condition demanded utmost care, they called a nurse who was even off duty to be stationed with the patient throughout the night. The nurse was off duty but they called him to come and stay with the patient.

READ ALSO: ‘How Doctors Shabbily Treated Mailafia While Dying’

“So, the doctors did all they could to salvage the situation but you know that in health, doctors can only treat, it’s God that saves lives.”

” Even the wife, in the morning of that day around 8, o’clock when they passed the news of the husband’s death to her, appreciated the doctors that this is the first time she was seeing very dedicated health workers, whose priority is to save lives,” he added.

Asked if he had the appreciation from the deceased wife on record, he said, “I don’t have it on record but this was what I gathered from the doctor on duty.”

While admitting that a foreign doctor who was contacted abroad following the development, reached out to the hospital’s doctors handling Mailafia’s case, he said,” As at the time the foreign doctor was calling, the man had passed.”

“The foreign doctor was calling from abroad through the son of the deceased instructing the doctor who had certified the man dead to go and start pressing the chest again, who now told him that “Oga, I have been into this practice for over 20 years, the man is dead, if I like, I can press his chest from now till tomorrow, that would not bring him back to life. That was what happened,” he explained.

When told there was an allegation that the hospital asked for N600,000 before administering certain medication, he responded, “No, no, no.”

“That is why I’m telling you a clear record of what transpired in this hospital. If you like, you can meet with the wife of the deceased to hear her side. Nobody asked for money,” he explained.

When equally told that the Middle Belt Forum quoted the wife as saying this, Atiga said:”That means the woman is not sincere, she is not sincere, because when he was certified death and the doctors passed his condolences to her, she appreciated them according to what I learnt.”

He explained further:”The man was admitted into the VIP wing of the infectious disease centre which attracted more attention. Nobody said they should deposit before they commence treatment.

“It was after his death, and they said no problem, that the CBN was going to foot the bill. So, we are suprised that all these things started coming up.

READ ALSO: Obadiah Mailafia: The Grip Of Grief

“Before his death, he was even talking to them. At a point when they were trying to improve the oxygen saturation, according to what I gathered, all their efforts connecting the cylinder was going down. They tried all they could but it was going down and that was when the man passed away.

“The doctors said at the point he was requesting for ventilator, if they do that, it would even fast- track his death, they are practitioners.

“That was what happened because I went there and interviewed the doctor as a public relations officer and he briefed me on all that happened.”

 

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Anti-open Grazing Laws In Southern States Unrealistic – El-Rufai

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Anti-open Grazing Laws In Southern States Unrealistic - El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday described the anti-grazing laws being signed by some of his colleagues as unrealistic.

According to him, while ranching is the ideal solution to the problem, it cannot be done overnight.

El-Rufai also said Kaduna State would require at least N114 billion to put together 14 ranches to fully settle herders and their families.

The governor said this while speaking to newsmen during a visit to the National Secretariat of the All progressives Congress, in Abuja.
He said : “The northern state governors’ forum has already taken a position that open grazing is not a sustainable way of livestock production. And we must move towards ranching.

READ ALSO: Delta Lawmakers Pass Anti-open Grazing Bill

“But moving towards ranching cannot be done overnight. We have to have a plan; we have to have resources and we have to implement it sensibly. It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying tomorrow this or that. It is not a solution. We have taken a position as northern state governors and we are implementing that.

“And in my state, for instance, we are developing a huge ranch to centralize the herders. And that is the solution, a long time. But can it be done overnight? No.”

“This project we are doing will cost us about 10 billion naira. The CBN is supporting us with about 7.5 billion. And it will take about two years to do.

“We will be settling Fulani herd families. And I hope that they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle going to people’s farms to cause all kinds of problems. We want to solve the problem.

“It is unhelpful to politicize the situation and pass legislation that you know that you cannot implement. So, we have taken a position and we are working round the clock to implement that position.

“These herders emanate from the north and we are going to centralize them. We cannot do it overnight. We need billions of naira. This is just one ranch that is causing 10 billion. I have 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna state and I would like to convince them into ranching. Do I have 14 times 10 billion naira? I don’t have.

READ ALSO: Govt Wants Supreme Court To Dismiss Rivers’ Bid To Stop Ceding Of 17 Oil Wells To Imo

“If the federal government will give me a hundred and fourteen billion, I will convert the other thirteen into ranches and make sure that nobody comes out with a cow or sheep in Kaduna state because I will have enough ranches to take care of everybody. That is the solution. You can legislate but let us wait and see. And I wish them the best of luck.”

 

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Sunny Ade’s Wife Dies

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Sunny Ade's Wife Dies

Risikat Ajoke Adegeye, a wife of Juju maestro, King Sunny Ade, is dead. She was a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

A media aide to the son of the deceased , Daniel Fayemi, and sources in the Lagos State House of Assembly confirmed Adegeye’s demise.

Fayemi said : “The philanthropic politician passed on in the early hours of Tuesday. Her remains have since been deposited at the TOS funeral homes, Lagos.

“She is survived by her grieving husband and son, Mr. George Folarin. Funeral arrangements would be communicated accordingly.”

Her son, Folarin, also confirmed the death on behalf of the family in a statement on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Govt Absent From Court As Nnamdi Kanu Seeks Return To Britain

He said the ex-lawmaker died after a brief illness.

The statement read in part: “We wish to formally inform friends, well-wishers, political associates, and the general public that Hon Risikat Ajoke Adegeye passed on after a brief illness during the early hours of Tuesday, 21st September 2021.

“Hon Risikat Ajoke Adegeye was a Honourable Member in the 6th Assembly of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

“She will be greatly missed not only by her immediate family but also by her political associates and followers. Further information in respect to her burial ceremony will be announced later after extensive consultations with the family.

“Thank you as we pray that she continues to rest peacefully and eternally with the Almighty God.”

 

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